Interview discusses Julie's parents of Basque origin, her childhood on a farm in Nampa, Idaho, her move to Boise, working at Gowen Field during World War II as a switchboard operator and secretary. It also discusses the Basque Girl's Club which participated in war efforts at home. Then moves onto her later life in California and eventual return to Boise and the Basque community.
NAME: Julie Abraham
DATE OF INTERVIEW: 21 April 2010
INTERVIEWER: Jennifer Held
MINUTE SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
Tape 1 Side 1
0:00-5:11- Introduction of interview. Jennifer Held introduces Julie Abraham 86. Born July 4th 1923 in Nampa, ID. Her father, Santiago Ansotegui was born in Ibarrangelu, Bizkaia. Santiago's employment is discussed, first in the railroad industry, than in sheep herding under Leon Mansissidor. Her mother Gregoria Ansotegui was also born in Ibarrangelu. Her mother never worked. She is the youngest of her family. They worked on their family farm and traveled to see friends and family for fun. When she is very young, she kills a baby rabbit by accident and has never quite gotten over that. They kept a variety of animals and she helped her mother with gardening and flowers around the farm.
5:11-8:09 - Schooling. In Nampa she attended Lakeview school, formerly known as Kenwood Elementary. In seventh and 8th grade she attended Saint Paul's Catholic School. When she was about 12 years old, she and her mother moved from Nampa to Boise because her father and brother were gone sheep herding and her other brother and sister worked in Boise. They wanted to be together. She attended the newly built North Junior High. Entertainment with her Basque friends. She went to Boise High school in 1939 and graduated in 1942. She had at least one high school sweetheart.
8:09-9:33 After school and World War II. She did not go to college, but began working for government at Gowen field during the war as a teletype and switchboard operator and a private secretary for 3 colonels. During this portion of audio the clock begins to strike marking the time as 5 pm. In 1944 she and Stuart Hill married. They met at Gowen Field where he was a soldier in the infantry.
9:33-17:40 Julie is asked about facing Basque prejudice, which never happened, but they did know how to fight. Discussion shifts to the Basque Girl's club. She joined because her sister had become a member and many of her friends were members as well. She joined right after high school. They rolled bandages as part of the war effort during WWII. Discussion shifts to the Womens' Army Corp, which had ugly uniforms and Julie and other civilian workers had nice uniforms, which caused some dissatisfaction. This was eventually settled. She met Stuart at Gowen field at the gate. They decide to marry because of the strain of war. They get a house together downtown across the street from her mothers. Their first child was born in 1947. After the war she worked for her neighbor doing book keeping.
17:40-20:34 Julie and her first husband move to San Lorenso, California in 1957 after her mother died. They moved to be with Stuart's family. It was a change to move from Idaho to California. Hard to leave her family in exchange for Stuart's family. Her children adjusted very well. She acted as a president of school parent teacher's association. There was nothing Basque in San Lorenso. She missed having dinner and parties.
20:34-24:40 Julie meets her second husband, Robert Abraham in California. She was secretary to a little league baseball club which her youngest son was a member of. Robert was a manager of the league. They got married in 1964 in Carson City, Nevada. A small wedding in a wedding Chapel. They moved to Fremont, where Robert worked for a trucking outfit building trucks. She worked for Chevrolet as a switchboard operator. They ran apartments in California. Julie managed them and Robert did repair.
24:40-37:09 Robert and Julie move back to Idaho in 1984 because Domingo was dying of colon cancer. It was a big change to return to Idaho after so long- people had died, children grown up. She rejoined the Basque Girl's Club when she returned to Idaho. She enjoyed especially being with her friends and rejoining the culture, because there was nothing in California for her to do. During the first Jaialdi in 1987 the Girl's Club fried chorizos in a booth. The interest in the Basque culture was needed, in Julie's opinion. She is glad to share her culture for people to see. The Girl's Club did not meet much past 2002. Julie still meets with the girls on occasion. She and Robert see Amuma Says No play often. In her spare time she scrapbooks, having gathered together 10-15 books of newspaper clippings and photographs dealing with the Basque community.